Hadrian’s Wall, built 122 A.D.
Several years ago, while strolling through the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I overheard a tour guide irately asking her group, “Am I the only one who knows what the northernmost border of the Roman Empire was?” (as if museum-goers should have that information on the tip of their tongues). I uttered nearby, “Hadrian’s Wall.” Of course, the Antonine Wall was located further north but little remains of it today.
Hadrian’s Wall extended west from Segedunum at Wallsend on the River Tyne, via Carlisle and Kirkandrews-on-Eden, to the shore of the Solway Firth, ending a short but unknown distance west of the village of Bowness-on-Solway.
Why is Hadrian’s Wall of interest to WTF Art History? It survived centuries of warfare, weather, and population growth, and because the garrisons could be equipped with up to 9,000 men in ancient times. Read about some possible purposes of its creation.